Broad College of Business

Broad College of Business

Paul North

Paul North, Director, MBA Admissions, Broad College of Business 

What is the one area of your program that you wish applicants knew more about?

The Broad MBA program is known for the Supply Chain Management and Human Resources concentrations. However, many prospects are not aware of how we infuse the concepts of creativity and Innovation throughout the concentration curriculum. In addition, the Broad MBA program prepares students for “new economy” jobs that requires graduates to be well prepared to lead from day one in the areas of business, technology and creativity.

What’s the single most exciting development, change, or event happening at you MBA program this coming year?

The Broad MBA has many exciting developments taking place. To name a few- we just broke ground on our new home for the Broad MBA, the Business Pavilion, with an expected completion date of Fall 2019. Also, in line with creating jobs for the “new economy”, the Broad MBA embarked on a curriculum change that now allows students to choose two Areas of Interest plus a concentration. Both of these developments are going to provide students with not only a great learning environment, but also the curriculum to be highly effective in the jobs of tomorrow.

Walk us through the life of an application in your office from an operational standpoint. What happens between the time an applicant clicks “submit” and the time the committee offers a final decision (e.g. how many “reads” does it get, how long is each “read,” who reads it, does the committee convene to discuss it as a group, etc.)

Once an applicant hits the submit button, the admissions team begins processing their application. We typically take 2-4 days to shortlist candidates for an evaluative interview. The candidates are shortlisted based on their work experience, standardized test scores, and undergraduate degree performance. Once the candidate completes his/her interview an Admissions officer along with input from a Career Management staff member will review the candidates application to ascertain if the candidate is a clear admit/deny or if further discussion is required at the Admissions Committee level. If a candidate goes to committee, there is an in-depth discussion about the candidate; the committee reviews the applicant’s file along with the video essay and interview notes to decide what decision to release. The committee will eventually make one of three decisions (admit, waitlist or deny) and post this decision to the applicant portal. Scholarship information is released around the same time as the admit decision.

How does your team approach the essay portion of the application specifically? What are you looking for as you read the essays? Are there common mistakes that applicants should try to avoid? One key thing they should keep in mind as they sit down to write them?

The Broad MBA has changed the way we approach essays this year. We require two essays. Essay A is in the form of two PowerPoint slides, for slide one we ask you to “illustrate” why the Broad MBA program should consider you for admission to the program and for slide two we require you to provide a 350 word writing sample. Essay B is a video essay that requires you to respond to approximately four questions. The objective of Essay A is to help the committee determine your creativity and writing aptitude. The objective of Essay B is to help the committee gauge goals, “coachability”, presentation of ideas, and communication skills. The Admissions team highly recommends you approach Essay A with creativity and Essay B with authenticity, and to make time for the Essays and not to rush through them.

Do you have any application tips (for essays & recommendations) for MBA applicants?

When approaching the essays, you should consider your goals and how MSU’s MBA program can help you meet those goals. The Broad MBA does not require recommendation letters; we only require reference names and contact information so we can reach out to references and discuss the skills you bring to the program.

What are the most important aspects of the MBA application process besides GMAT score, prior GPA and current job position?

Your resume and goals are just as important as any of the other components of the application. The committee wants to ensure we can partner with you to help you achieve your goals. Spend a lot of time thinking about your goals and how the Broad MBA program can help you achieve them. We encourage you to schedule a 1-on-1 advising session with an Admissions Officer to discuss program ‘fit”. Admissions Officers typically set aside Fridays for advising sessions, and we encourage you take advantage of them.

How can a candidate overcome a lower GMAT score?

If your score falls within the 80th percentile of our GMAT score range you are definitely admissible; however, the competition in an applicant pool might determine whether you will be admitted, waitlisted, or denied. Put your best foot forward in your application to convince the Admissions Committee of why we should consider you for the program.

What resources are available at your MBA program to assist with internship and full-time job opportunities?

The MBA program has a highly ranked Career Management team that is here to help you navigate through your job search. Remember, we can provide you with all the resources to be successful in your internship and full-time job search; however, you own the process and the amount of work you put in to your job search typically determines the opportunities available to you.



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